16 June 2022
It is Men’s Health Week in Australia from June 13-19, with the goal of getting more men to focus on their physical and mental well-being.
In times of need, some men may resort to their “furry friend” rather than seek professional medical or social assistance, according to a recent ABC News piece (1). The emotional and physical well-being of adults and children alike can benefit greatly from having a pet. Having a pet can be a great way to alleviate stress, anxiety, despair, and feelings of isolation.
“My pets have changed my life in a more positive way because it has made me less selfish, so that I think of someone other than myself.” A cat dog and small mammal owner. (2)
Three out of five Australian families have a pet, according to data from Animal Medicines Australia (AMA). According to 2019 statistics, 39% of Australian households had dogs, 27% had cats, 9% had birds, and 11% had fish.
Many pet owners consider their animal friend to be an integral part of the family. About half of dog and cat owners, according to Newgate Research conducted for AMA, let their pets sleep in bed with them. (2)
Ninety percent of pet owners in the AMA poll reported enhanced physical and mental health as a result of having a pet. Love, tenderness, and companionship were major bonuses.
Men’s Line Australia describes how spending time with a pet can help people feel less stressed, which can improve their ability to deal with pressure and stress in general. The presence of a pet in your home has been shown to reduce the owner’s blood pressure, cholesterol, and the likelihood of developing heart disease. (3)
Therapy with pets is well-established and well acknowledged. The elderly and those recovering from illnesses like cancer or stroke can benefit from pet therapy. Some people with mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety, benefit from having a therapy dog to help them overcome their feelings of isolation and loneliness.
They (dogs) read humans well, they’re empathic, and they force you to get outside,” Dr. Judith Joseph (a psychiatrist) was recently cited as stating in an article on the Men’s Health website. (3)
Animals like cats have been proved to help autistic people relax, while a horse can aid trauma sufferers in feeling secure and overcoming their fears.
Dr. Joseph then goes on to detail the many various sorts of pets utilised in the treatment of mental health issues such bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and dementia.
Possessing a pet can improve one’s sense of purpose and routine, as well as one’s social health and self-care. Pets can improve their owners’ quality of life in many ways, acting as a friend who cares about them and loves them no matter what.
“By far better. I am alone a lot and it is the companionship of someone else in the house which is nice. The love they give (and take) is very comforting and helps with stress a lot. I think it’s also great for my children in this regard too.” A cat owner (2)